Women's Conference Preparatory Body Submits Draft Strategies for Future Action

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Women's Conference preparatory body submits draft strategies for future action

The Commission on the Status of Women, acting as the Preparatory Body for the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women, concluded its resumed third session on 7 May without reaching agreement on the draft of the forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women that is to be the main document of the Conference, scheduled for 15 to 26 July in Nairobi.

The Commission decided to transmit the draft--with one fifth of its 372 paragraphs still pending--to the Conference through the Economic and Social Council.

It also forwarded a set of draft provisional rules of procedure for the Conference, but was unable to agree on rules for decision-taking, the election of officers and the organization of work.

The resumed session, which began on 29 April, was convened according to a General Assembly decision of 12 Arpil. Much of the work, particularly on the forward-looking strategies, took place in informal meetings of an open-ended drafting group. The draft document to be submitted to the Conference (A/CONF.116/12) combines elements of a 279-page text prepared by the Secretary-General (A/CONF.116/ PC/21) with amendments proposed by the Group of 77 developing countries (A/CONF.116/PC/L.18), the Eastern European countries (A/CONF.116/PC/ CRP.3) and Western European and other States (A/CONF.116/PC/CRP.2).

The forward-looking strategies aim at setting out concrete measures to overcome the obstacles impeding the advancement of women. the draft text contains an introduction giving the historical background of the Women's Decade, a section on global trends and perspectives affecting the advancement of women, sections on national strategies of implementation for women, and a section on regional and international strategies.

A separate section focuses on measures for women in special areas of concern, including the rural and urban poor; the destitute, disabled and abused; youth and elderly women; migrants, refugees and minorities; prostitutes; women in detention; Palestinian women; women under apartheid; and women in war-torn areas.

According to Rosario G. Manalo (Philippines), Chairman of the Preparatory Body, members of the informal drafting group--the "Friends of the Chairman" -- were able to agree on the title of the draft text ("Forward-looking strategies of implementation for the advancement of women and concrete measures to overcome obstacles to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the United Nations Decade for Women") and on portions of the introduction.

The Preparatory Body had approved a number of paragraphs before the third session was suspended on 14 March, including strategies in such areas as education and training, employment, health care, food production, industry, technology, housing and transport, access to credit, energy conservation, and environmental protection. …